Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
The new AMI customer portal is now live.
AMI smart water meters help conserve and ensure a better water future. Working with our customers is the best way to reduce water use, improve the reliability and sustainability of our water system, and minimize costs. Smart meters provide an outstanding foundation for strong collaboration with our customers. Smart meter customers now have the tools and information to help save water and save money.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is AMI?
AMI stands for Advanced Metering Infrastructure. It is a method of using communication technology to read meters remotely without having to access the meter located in meter boxes in the ground.
How does it work?
The City of Kaufman has chosen a fixed-based network that provides two-way communication from the meter box to strategically located Base Stations. The city is replacing radio antennas throughout Kaufman with new antennas. The radio antenna, also referred to as an MXU is used to collect and transmit meter reading data, unique identification numbers, operating status, and various alarms at regular intervals to the Base Stations.
Why did the city undertake this effort?
Advanced meter systems are quickly becoming the standard for utilities around the country. These new devices allow for more accurate and faster collection of water usage readings than the current manual method and improve safety conditions for City staff. Currently, the meter readers must drive by almost every meter box to obtain a reading from the meter. Introducing automatic meter reading as the standard for Kaufman is one of the ways we can better serve our customers and improve the overall efficiency of the utility department.
Will the electronic device on the meter interfere with other electronic equipment?
No. The radio transmission operates in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices.
Is the electronic device and data encrypted?
Yes. Data transmitted from the meter through the system is encrypted throughout the entire process.
Is this part of a fixed (closed) network?
Yes. The fixed network will collect readings at fixed data collection points and transmit them electronically for billing purposes without staff needing to go to the location of the meters.
Can I access daily readings online?
Yes, when the system is fully implemented in late 2023, water customers will have the ability to access their daily water consumption online.
Do I have to be home for the antenna replacement work?
No. Since the water meters are located outside of the home in the City right-of-way, you will not need to be home for the replacement work.
Does my meter have to be replaced?
No. In most instances the meter will not need to be replaced, only the radio will be replaced with an upgraded AMI unit. There will be some instances where a meter will be replaced due to poor electronic communications.
How does AMI benefit customers?
• Improved customer service by increasing the accuracy and frequency of meter readings.
• Minimized need to access meters at the property.
• Ability for customers to set usage alerts on their account before high bills are received.
Can I cover up the meter after the installation?
No. Access needs to be available at all times. There will still be instances when meter technicians will visit the meter on-site to perform routine maintenance or verify high readings. Obstructions to the meter box are subject to removal by City personnel.
What if there is something blocking or in front of the meter?
Please, keep access to the water meter available at all times to ensure it is accessible for any potential emergency that would require the meter to be turned off. Be careful during the fall foliage season not to cover your water meter with piles of leaves.
How will I know that you have my reading and not someone else’s?
Each radio frequency device has a unique identification number, which is transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique number is compared to your account record electronically to ensure a match.